/ Shopping

What’s the deal with fake Ray-Bans, scarves and dodgy products?

Have you placed an order lately only to have a pair of fake Ray-Bans, a scarf, or just a very poor-quality product show up in its place?

When we discussed a dodgy site claiming to be selling Lego products earlier this month, we explained how the customer received a black scarf instead of their order.

We’d recently seen this happening to people who’d fallen victim to scam Clarks shoes sites after clicking through on dodgy Facebook ads.

Now we’re starting to see regular reports of people receiving fake Ray-Ban sunglasses.

It’s likely this is being done to complicate the refund process, as you’ll often be requested to post the fake/strange items back to the seller.

A member even recently told us they’d ordered a flower rack after seeing an advert on Facebook, only to receive a ‘small useless ring’ instead. They couldn’t get hold of the site from then on, and we’ve had no response when attempting contact on their behalf.

Have you received fake Ray-Bans, a scarf, or another random item instead of what you ordered? Let us know in the comments if it’s happened to you.

Poor-quality products

While most reports to us lately have been around strange products arriving, others have received inferior versions of their order.

One Which? member placed an order for a pair of shoes with Confiy.com after seeing them advertised like this on its site:

Here’s what turned up:

The cheap-looking shoes took six weeks to arrive and Confiy.com has so far failed to respond to the member’s requests for a refund.

They’ve since raised a chargeback dispute with their card provider and are waiting to hear if they’ll get their money back. 

Confiy.com has not responded to our request for comment.  

Take care when shopping online

All these examples and reports we’ve received lately show that you must do your research when you’re shopping online, especially if you’ve clicked through an advert via social media.

If you’re not sure if an advert is genuine, check with the brand itself directly via its official channels.

If you’re on a shopping site you don’t recognise, take a moment to do your research – Google the company name. Who knows, you could end up back on Which? Conversation reading a scam warning.

If you do think you may have given your bank details to scammers via a dodgy website, let your bank know what’s happened as soon as you can.

Guide: how to get your money back after a scam

Have you received fake products or poor-quality items from an online shopping site?


I’ve generally avoided this by avoiding sellers that I’ve never heard of before and my looking carefully at what I want to buy.

Fairly recently, my brother did buy a useless spare part for a Flymo strimmer. In this case, the new part just didn’t work at all, so we carried on the worn but still functional original. I did also recently buy a cheap PC graphics card which took ages to come from Hong Kong, even though the seller had a UK (Hounslow –> near to Heathrow!!!) address on their eBay site. I’m not quite convinced that the graphics card isn’t a fake product, but it does seem to function correctly.

When I buy expensive items it is always from well established companies that provide a UK address. I have frequently bought fairly inexpensive items such as spare parts from eBay sellers, restricting myself to sellers based in the UK. I have been able, for example, to source spares for obsolete garage doors and sliding wardrobe doors.

Until recently, I had never knowingly bought from a seller based overseas, but I recently bought a part costing £4.60 from an eBay trader based in China. The part arrived within two weeks. I would have bought from a well known company but they wanted almost five times as much for the same part.

If I want Clarks shoes I go to a Clarks shop.

Geraldine Ames says:
30 July 2020

I ordered a dress from a Company on Facebook. It was a good price and looked lovely. However when it arrived it was cheap nylon type material and huge in size. I tried to send back but was from CHINA. I can’t remember name if Company. But there are other Companies selling same on Facebook. DONT ORDER FROM THEM. Tried to return and was nearly as expensive as dress. They did answer my emails about returning but wiggled all ways so I could not return. Offered refund of about a £5. But made it impossible to get refund. I gave up and sent it to a Charity Shop. Learnt my lesson.

Geoffrey Logan says:
30 July 2020

If something looks too good to be true, then the old adage as promoted by Which is “then it probably is”. I always Google the seller and read the feedback. If you read the comments on Facebook you should get some idea as to what is genuine or not.

Charles Collins says:
30 July 2020

We ordered a slide for our grandson and got a broken pair of ray_bans sun glasses

Jeffrey Bottomley says:
30 July 2020

I too have been caught out 3 times one after the other through social media, first for 2 pop rivet machines – weeks later 2 cheap flat spanners turned up instead, but managed to get a refund on these.
Then I ordered2 special baby dolls costing £58 for my wife, 2 smelly damaged blow moulded identical (supposed to be boy and girl ) worth 50 p at most dolls? turned up, still trying for a refund and so far they offered $8 dollars an insult. Then from Infinitikloud a back up system Costing £59 for photos that supposed to be plug and play (joke) that requires a product reg code ( not provided) I have emailed 3 times and contacted on line but no response despite claiming award winning customer service!
My advice stay clear of Facebook ads, go back to the high street if poss.

Diana S says:
31 July 2020

We have the same problem with infinitikloud. It just does not work. Have not tried getting money back yet. It was delivered within a few days of ordering so did not smell a rat.

Ron Mitchell says:
30 July 2020

Fool that I am I’ve been caught out more than once. Part of the problem with responding to ads on social media is that you don’t get a proper receipt. Goods arrive with insufficient details to tie them back to your payment (often PayPal) so when you realise you’ve not received the item you purchased and you make a claim the problems start.

Having twice payed for a laser engraver via Facebook and never having received one I tried to claim back from PayPal who insisted that I’d received the goods. The seller insisting – according to PayPal that they had proof of delivery which despite my requests PayPal would not show to me.

If PayPal truly did have a POD then it would have been from one of those deliveries that you get from China every now and then that contains a cheap plastic “thing” that you know you never ordered and can’t track back to anything because the parcel contains no useful reference,

I had a cheap and nasty set of VR glasses delivered the other day. I wonder what they’ve been substituted for!

I did win one though, having paid for an automatic Gimbal and receiving a cheap and nasty plastic tripod I was able to trace it back to my original payment and after many “offers” from the seller I got a total payback.

Diane says:
30 July 2020

I ordered two pet beds from Dawgbedz…that was May. Never received…

Lizzy Wizz says:
30 July 2020

Yep I was suckered for a lovely horse scarf. Turned out to be a completely different print on cheap polyester instead of “pure cashmere” they advertised.
My mantra today is that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is a fake. Avoid.

Angela O'dowd says:
30 July 2020

I ordered a set of teeth that are supposed to fit over your existing teeth and gaps. When they arrived there was no way they would ever fit and there was no way of securing them! Be warned!! I also ordered a carton of boom wash which is supposed to foam and clean the toilet bowl. Firstly the carton was very small and secondly it didn’t do what it was supposed to do, absolutely no sign of any foaming. Don’t buy either of those products..

John Bentley says:
30 July 2020

Recently I ordered on eBay ‘Face Mask FFP2 KN95 Reusable Virus…’. When received I read the instructions, the fourth diagram stated ‘After using the mask please discard carefully’ and under remarks ‘Single use only – do not share’. Both of which seem to rule out the masks being reusable.

Christine Harrington says:
30 July 2020

On 3rd July I ordered a camping chair with canopy. A couple of days ago I received just a small carry cover for the chair. Went to my email invoice and clicked on the link to ‘View Your Order’ and got a message stating ‘this shop is unavailable’.

Stuart says:
30 July 2020

I have for some time been looking at the website registration to see how long they have had the site and where they are registered, it can give you some idea whether they are genuine and from the UK. I try not to buy from Chinese suppliers on Ebay or Amazon market although I have found that Amazon seem to be better at getting a refund when goods don’t arrive or are not as described

Robert Moore says:
30 July 2020

Being a “gadget man” I’ve bought many “too good to ignore” items, mainly from China. In my view it’s a buyer beware marketplace. Several things stand out: 1. the photos often exaggerate the size of the items so check the specs carefully; 2. delivery can be weeks or even months; 3. Use PayPal when purchasing these goods as their Resolution Centre can, sometimes, get you a refund if it’s an obvious scam. This usually involves posting the erroneous item back to the seller and then claiming the postage back from PayPal – a long and tedious exercise where the postage often exceeds the cost of the item. On one occasion I purchased the latest TaylorMade Driver which turned out to be counterfeit. It actually performed reasonably well except that the loft was about 17 degrees (200 yards up and 200 yards long!! As I had played with it once the seller refused to take it back or refund me the cost. After a long haggle by email they refunded me 50% of the cost.

The receipt of a worthless piece of junk is a sure sign of a scam as the tracking number for that delivery is used by the scammers as proof of delivery, when challenged by PayPal, and serves to elongate the Resolution Centre process.

In summary, before purchasing items advertised on social media, particularly Facebook, think twice, and then think again, and be prepared to get caught out occasionally. It’s a pity we can’t buy a bag of patience in Tescos!

byron jones says:
30 July 2020

I ordered a couple of pairs of ECCO sandals from ECCOEUSTORE. The web site disappeared soon after my purchase. Then a fake Givenchy baseball cap arrived….customer service said that they had run out of the sandals and this cap was instead. I asked for a full refund to which they replied that i would get one only if I returned the cap to China, at my own expense. They then offered to refund me 25% of the cost of the sandals andI keep the cap. I am still waiting for the refund, 6 weeks after being scammed

Graham Dowse says:
30 July 2020

I had also purchased a folding electric mobility cart, they said it was delivered , yes something was delivered is was a TOY BATTERY OPERATED CAR, this WAS THERE PROOF OF SOMETHING WAS DELIVERED, I HAD SENT 8 EMAILS complaining. They replied with a 70% refund. I am still waiting for that refund. This has to stop from Facebook to do something not to a low this to down load.

Maggie Law says:
30 July 2020

All those ads when you go to Google “anagram” of really great looking clothes are genuine but what is sent to you is rubbish – where do they get these pictures that the Chinese company send really awful awful versions of to you when you order?; and there is no way of getting money back or returning the shoddy goods. They are all really badly made of inferior cloth and and nothing like the original design at all.

John says:
30 July 2020

I will never use Ebay again as I ordered a chainsaw, which arrived broken, and trying to sent it back took ages as the sender wanted me to pay for it. They then sent me an email with return forms to be printed out. My printer was out of ink so I asked if they could post the forms. They would not. Ebay said I should print them I told them my printer was out of ink and was waiting for delivery. I also said I did not remember that to use Ebay I had to have a printer. In the end I had to email to a friend and have a couple of forms printed off.

Generally, I’ve had good experiences from eBay, but I usually only use it for low value specialist items from UK sellers. For something like a chainsaw, I’d be more inclined to go to a real shop.

Alan Of Ipswich says:
30 July 2020

I ordered two pairs of Ecco shoes from a VERY convincing web site called Eccoeustore.com. Should have known better, every size and model was in stock, and very cheap, but a brilliant web site! Next day a virtually identical website selling Clark’s shoes appeared – alarm bells rang! Checked my on line credit card account and found a completely different amount had been debited to my account in US dollars from a Chinese account! Phoned my CC company, stopped my card and put in a claim for a refund, which fortunately I got within a few days together with my new CC – very time consuming and worrying. Ironically a couple of weeks later I received 3 pairs of fake Burberry socks from China (wrong size and very poor quality) Lesson learned (again) if it looks too good to be true ……………

Jac says:
30 July 2020

Please, please avoid buying on a pop up advert when online. My mum did and thought she was buying some stationery. Thankfully she told me, I checked the website which was supposedly in the USA and reviews were bad. I made my mum phone her bank immediately and the couple of pounds which the site stated as the price turned into £48. Unfortunately she paid by debit card. Lady at bank advised to stop her card as she was certain the scam company would attempt to clear out the account. So lessons learned – don’t buy from pop up ads and don’t pay by debit card. Credit card gives more protection. Stick to trusted websites and sellers.